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by The Vertigo Swirl

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believe it or not, I'm starting to doubt my senses just kidding, of course - I've been doing that for years the difference is now I've fortified my defenses I've learned to erase, I've learned how to face my fears and we'll be alright 'cos the world's still turning but it's burning, too I couldn't say no, I couldn't say yes nor maybe the timing was right to get in the fight for real don't look at me now - I'm crying just like a baby this isn't the end, regardless of how it feels and we'll be alright 'cos the world's still turning but it's burning, too burning, still burning what could I do?
Skyscraping 04:57
I’m floating on a cloud over a silver sea far from the maddening crowd lost in eternity meditating, medicating biorhythm syncopating concentrating on creating coming into view and fading out these are lonely times, my brother these are lonely times, my friend these are lonely times, my sister but these lonely times will end I’m putting down my foot I’m hitching up my pants I’m trying to stay put but I just gotta dance masquerading, isolating people can be so frustrating decimating, desecrating coming into view and fading out these are lonely times
Doomscroll 05:03
I know I know I know somebody has it worse I know I know I know someone else said it first I know I know I know I won’t make history I know I know I know that’s me but we’re all worried about tomorrow and we’re all worried what it will bring we’ve had enough of the endless sorrow we’ve had enough of most everything I know I know I know you’re driving out the dark I know I know I know it only takes a spark I know I know I know you’re gearing up for war I know I know I know the score what are the standard rules of engagement for boys in brown and for boys in blue what is the reason for our encagement except it seemed like the thing to do I know I know I know I haven’t been so brave I know I know I know I took while others gave I know I know I know I talk instead of do I know I know I know it’s true under the watchful eye of the eagle the angry voices are disappeared I’m pretty sure that this is illegal but no one’s keeping much track this year
Neonymous 04:41
Guernica 03:26
Orbitron 04:48
Time Balm 01:14


Isolationauts began as a self-contained project separate from The Vertigo Swirl, involving various musicians of our acquaintance collaborating remotely during the ongoing COVID epidemic. While several fine folks submitted contributions, the overall response was disappointing (in quantity, not quality).

In the end, Mike and myself decided we would combine our old friend and collaborator Drew Aldrich's contributions with our ongoing Vertigo Swirl recordings and experiments. Then Dan Stuvland - another long-standing collaborator who had actually inspired the Isolationauts concept to begin with - provided us with some great acoustic and electric drums and percussion for our existing tracks.

The result is a rather epic album demarcated into four parts (or, if we must spell it out, the four sides of a double vinyl album) with plenty of instrumental firepower and sonic adventure, plus a trio of vocal laments for the "interesting times" that we live in. (There is also sociopolitical commentary in the instrumentals, but it's a lot more subtle.)

Enjoy. Or don't. But we recommend that you do.

BaM, 12/18/20


released January 1, 2021

all tracks written by The Vertigo Swirl
"Nag Champa #3" and "Sardonic Voyeurism" were cowritten with Drew Aldrich
"These Are Lonely Times" was cowritten with Drew Aldrich & Carlye Lehnen

Dan Stuvland
bongos & conga on "Turning, Still Burning"
drums on "Metropolis Speedway"
electronic drums on "Electric Forest"

Drew Aldrich
bass & treated drums on "Nag Champa #3"
rhythm guitar, bass, & drums on "These Are Lonely Times"
guitar, drum machine, & vocals on "Sardonic Voyeurism"

all other instrumental and vocal performances
by Brian Andrew Marek and Michael Allen Thompson
some drum machine courtesy of Drumbit (drumbit.app)

engineered and produced by The Vertigo Swirl
additional engineering by Carlye Lehnen,
Drew Aldrich, & Michael Thompson

mixed, edited, crossfaded, & split by BaM

recorded 12/22/19-11/1/20 at Wise Guise Studios (RIP),
Mid Century Recorders, Makeshift Recorders, & Return to Zero Studios

photography by Carlye Lehnen
artwork by BaM with apologies to Magritte

THANK YOU Drew, Carlye, Stuvy, John Barry, Beck Boston, Andrea Busch, Quentin Fai, James Hall, Mike Floyd, Mark Forster, Infinite Spin Radio, David Jeffery, Kabuki, KDHX and its stalwart jockeys of disc, Jack Lippold, Jim McKinney (he knows what he did!), Dan Niewoehner, Timothy Salamon (the Rhodes didn't make it on this time, but... dude!!!), Sawyer, John Sebben, Sergey Sokolov, Lyla Turner, Dave Udell, Jessica Zgurski

Rubberstamp Records RSR-063


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Rubberstamp Records St Louis, Missouri

Rubberstamp Records is a DIY indie record label based in the Saint Louis, MO area and helmed by local music scene veteran Brian Andrew Marek.

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